Updated: Oct 16, 2018
FREELAND Tip-off Leads to Bust of Sex Trafficking Operation
(Bangkok, June 24)-- The Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) of the Royal Thai Police rescued 13 Burmese teenage girls from sex traffickers in southern Thailand this weekend before arresting one of the Thai controllers. The arrest, raid and rescue were made in the southern city of Ranong, which borders Myanmar. Police who conducted the raid swooped in from outside the city. The targeted establishment may be connected to a wider human trafficking network that stretches along the Thai-Myanmar border. Victims have been taken into protective custody in Bangkok.
A manager of one entertainment establishment in downtown Ranong was arrested, while police collected further clues. The undercover operation followed a tip-off from FREELAND Foundation, whose officers verified that underage girls had been deceived and trapped by traffickers running the illegal business. FREELAND then notified trusted authorities who then took charge.
Investigations suggest the girls are victims of a network run by Thai and Burmese criminals and corrupt officers.
“The Thai Anti-Human Trafficking Division is to be congratulated for rescuing these girls who were tricked and coerced into becoming sex slaves,” said Steven Galster, Director of FREELAND. “The Ranong business showed clear signs of strict control and abuse. We will continue collaborating with Thai authorities to unravel the network of power and corruption along the border that is exploiting Burmese citizens who are desperately looking for work.”
FREELAND belongs to the Thai Trafficking in Persons Network (Thai TIP-Net) and received support from Exodus Road for this activity.
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